Mariella Dileo, one of our 5 hour marathon pacers, is a hurricane of positive energy. She that never fails to greet you warmly, her first concern is to know how you are. She transmits energy without reserve and without asking for anything in return. She is a woman from other times. Or maybe just a woman from the south of Italy. Born and raised in Barletta, the same as the Olympic sprinter Pietro Mennea, Mariella didn’t give a thought to running until the fortieth birthday. "I had two beautiful children but the pregnancies led me to weigh a almost two hundred pounds. I was looking for a solution, at least some walking, was absolutely not supported in any way by my family. My husband thought I should just stay with the children and my mother tried to convince me that I was beautiful just as I was (mothers!). But I felt uncomfortable, so I started working out early in the morning and no one noticed. "

She began to walk and in a short time losing some weight and feeling her clothes looser. To have a visual measure of the distances she went from tree to tree on the street outside her house.  To speed things up she stared running between two trees until he was able to run a full five kilometers. She was already happy just staying at this distance. Then, a long vacation in the mountains forced her to lengthen the distance and naturally change her flat route. Upon returning to Barletta she saw they were organizing a half marathon. Without much preparation she entered the race and finished third overall in 1h46'00 ". By now it was hard to hide her new past time from her family. He found a local sports club and  began further her running distances. It was a blink of the eye from the half marathon  to the marathon to the Passatore 100km ultra marathon.

Today, the marathon distance is the one she likes best. “In the five hour pacing group I enjoy the day, see many old and new friends, along with sightseeing during the race. Over time I discovered that it’s a distance that leaves no residual pain in my legs and I can be ready to run again after a short time. Of course, I’m running slower than I could  but I like it that way.”  Venicemarathon 2018 will be the ninetieth marathon for our Mariella. That’s an enormous achievement for someone who started running just fourteen years ago and an incentive for others to follow her!